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Phil Ivey: What's Happened to Poker's Most Talented Player?
The 2000s were a crazy time for technology. People moved from their Nokia 3310s to a smartphone, MySpace's popularity died and Facebook began to take over the social world. There was also the Dot-com bubble which was followed by the huge growth in online gaming.
Online gaming included live casino games and the ability to bet in-play on sporting events. Advancing technology and readily available WiFi allowed gamers to play the likes of poker on their mobiles on the go.
Televised poker came off the back of this success and was a big deal for a few years. During the height of that poker madness, one player's name that was on everybody's lips was Phil Ivey.
At one point Phil Ivey was the most successful poker player in the world with his earnings just over $23 million. Only Erik Seidel ($33m), Daniel Colman ($28m) and Antonio Esfandiari ($27m) currently boast bigger career earnings than the 41-year-old.
On top of this, he's won many millions from online and in-person cash games, with some sources estimating Phil Ivey's net worth to be around $100 million.
Ivey has won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, which is tied for second and only trailing Phil Hellmuth (14).In 2008he won the World Poker Tour title for the first and so far only time. That year, Ivey made the final table at the LA Poker Classic that included 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth and Nam Le. The American captured the $1,596,100 first prize which in turn ended his streak of seven World Poker Tour final tables without a victory.
His first WSoP bracelet came in 2000 by winning the Pot Limit Omaha and $195,000. His next one came in 2002 at the Limit 7 Card Stud event ($132k) and two more bracelets would follow the same year - Limit 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo ($118,440) and Limit S.H.O.E ($107,540).
It would be 2005 before Ivey would collect his fifth WSoP bracelet - the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha first prize netted him a cool $635,603.Bracelet numbers six and seven in 2009 at the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo and $2,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw earned him $220,538 and $96,367 in prize money respectively.
The 2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada earned Phil Ivey $329,840. His penultimate WSoP bracelet came at the 2013 $2,200 Mixed Event where he took home the $51,840 first prize.
Ivey's final bracelet came in 2014 when he claimed first prize in the Eight Game Mix, taking home$166,986. Earlier that year he won the 2014 Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge to win his largest single prize of his career - AU$4,000,000.
With all these achievements listed above it comes as a surprise to few that the Las Vegas native was once considered by many as the best all-around poker player in the world.He was then elected into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017 - only the second entrance to be as young as 40 at the time (the minimum age requirement) - after Daniel Negreanu in 2014.ThoughIvey hasn't exactly lost his status as the most talented, he has stepped away from competing with the game's best at the pinnacle of poker.
In 2016, he was absent for the first 67 events of the World Series of Poker schedule, but showed up just for the Main Event.Without any success however.
By the age of only 23, Ivey was already one of the most famous poker players in the world as he'd won three World Series bracelets.Between 2002-09 he finished among the top 25 players in the $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker four times. But he didn't enter the 2017 Main Event that 7,000+ players did.
He has been largely missed at poker events and his most recent headline making was when it came to his court case against a London casino over his winnings back in 2012. In October 2017 when the United Kingdom's highest court ruled that his use of edge sorting techniques during a series of games in London in 2012 constituted cheating. As a result he was unable to claim his £7 million ($10.1) winnings which the London-based casino has kept all along.
Phil Ivey has also been a very successful online poker player. According to HighStakesDB.com, he won $1.99 million in 2007, $7.34 million in 2008, $6.33 million in 2009, and $3 million in 2010.
However, the 10 time WSOP bracelet winner is since on a decline online. In 2015 he lost approximately $3.7m online - the most in the online poker world.
With televised poker falling off mainstream TV, Ivey plays more casino games these days. He can often be found at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, as well as running programs for teaching people to succeed at poker themselves.